Our favorite resto in Manila used to be Pepato, owned by caterer/restaurateur Margarita Fores. So we were ecstatic to hear that she has a restaurant in Greenbelt 5 called Lusso. And the perfect opportunity to try Lusso out came when I met up with my former schoolmate and fellow blogger Deepa of Currystrumpet.com over the holidays in Manila! Photos of the amazing food and to-die-for interior design after the jump!
Lusso comes from the word “luxe”, but it means affordable luxury. The ideology behind the restaurant is to bring the best dishes like the Foie Gras Burger of New York or the Tuna Sandwich of Manila Peninsula to a relatively lower AB class setting in Greenbelt 5.
LUSSO BY DAY
Lusso was love at first sight! I love the decadent gold and tangerine interiors (with splashes of emerald)! I love every little detail from the shape of the water-glass to the simple but oh-so-posh napkin holder. Indeed everything looks “luxe!”
Excited to see each other after many years!
Luxe Fries P250 with Asiago cheese and Truffle Salt.
ASIAGO is a semi-hard table cheese, easily shredded into your favorite recipes. Along with a pronounced nut-like flavor, fresh Asiago has a taste that is semi-sweet. Because of this, it is also good when used in a sandwich. It has a sharp flavor that resembles Parmesan and Cheddar cheese combined and, because of this, is also popularly used as an ingredient in omelets and sauces.
We split a Foie Gras Croque Monsieur (Bechamel & Gruyere cheese) with a side of salad and homemade potato chips P450. I’ve never tasted Croque Monsieur like this!We also split the Luxe Mac n’ Cheese P495 (pancetta & formaggio trio), which was pretty good, but not the best Mac n’ Cheese I’ve ever tasted. Pictured is half a portion – I can’t imagine how big a full portion would be! We definitely had to order tea after.
We couldn’t do without trying dessert. Their reco? The delectable Mocca Sansrival (milk chocolate, cashews) P275 ! It was perfect with our Mariage Frères teas, Sakura (green tea with Cherry blossoms) for me and Yuzu Temple (green tea with Japanese yuzu) for Deepa. The Mocca Sansrival has to be one of my favorite versions of sans rival yet. It’s a big slice but oh-so-light. OMG. It was the perfect way to end such a lovely meal.
Delectable Mocca Sans Rival photo via Deepa of Currystrumpet.com
* SIDENOTE: We noticed while we were there that the waiters would prepare some iced tea and cover it before delivering it somewhere. I finally had to ask them, what it was for! Apparently this is where Louis Vuitton orders tea for their customers. Ahem-ahem! I guess if I were buying bags that expensive I would definitely expect to be served not just any iced tea, but iced tea from Margarita Fores’ restaurant, delivered by a man in a crisp white jacket – LUXE talaga haha! =P
GORGEOUS LUSSO INTERIORS
This is why it was love at first sight. From the al fresco dining area…
…To the splendid ginormous glass door…And everything gold and luxe inside! The old chandeliers of Manila Peninsula are just divine. Of course the flower arrangements are classic Margarita Fores – eclectic, unique and exquisite!The malachite mirror is an unexpected splash of color that is echoed by the bill tray. SO chic! It tied up the whole look! Margarita Fores is amazing with these little details.
The bathroom is tiny, yet so luxe. I love the brass hardware!
Meeting with someone I haven’t seen in like a decade is exciting and also something I get a little bit nervous about. Will this person be the same? Will we have a lot to talk about or will there be awkward silences? Time and life experiences transform us over the years… and that someone you completely jived with in the past, you might not flow with in the present. This is normal and natural especially if you have nothing in common anymore and that’s when, after catching up on what happened to common friends, the awkward silences come in. But it was definitely not the case with me and Deepa. Put two super talkative people in a room going through similar expat experiences (tapos parehong bloggers pa!) and it was definitely chika-to-death + gotta-take-a-photo-of-everything-we-eat time! I’m so glad that we squeezed in that lunch in the middle of the holiday madness that is Manila!
LUSSO BY NIGHT
TD was so intrigued by Lusso and its famous Foie Gras Burger that he just had to try it with me that evening. Our sched was so tight that there was no other time we could go – just the two of us. It was important to me that in the midst of all the reunions and meet ups that we also get some romantic alone time. Lusso was perfect!
I had the Lobster & River Prawn Roll P450 with homemade mayo, while TD had the Lusso demi-pound Foie Gras burger made with US beef, cambozola cheese bath, prosecco onions. It was perfectly cooked, crispy outside and juicy inside. The roll was delicious and light while the burger is deceptive because it was hard for TD to finish it by himself. That is a lot of meat and Foie Gras, and we highly recommend this for carnivores. I personally couldn’t have more than two bites. (Pour the cambozola cheese on each bite but be ready for a delicious mess!)
We had the Carabao’s Milk Gelato and the Pot-de-creme P130 (chocolate mousse with gold dust). Between the two I loved the Pot-de-creme, however it could improve the presentation because the condensation on top didn’t make it look attractive – but that chocolate is SO YUMMY! Their signature Gelato de Lusso (extra virgin olive oil with sea salt!) was out of stock that evening. But I’ve tried it and it is excellent. Not too sweet, with a little salt to really bring out that flavor. But if you are not into the whole sweet/salty combination, don’t get it. =P
Next time I’d love to try their dulce de leche gelato and the Pecorino cheese cake (pecorino romano) P275.
Perfect with the Sakura tea which TD and I shared.
For those who are health conscious, I also recommend the Pan-Seared Salmon (Orange Salt on a bed of fresh green beans with Champagne Cream and Lumpfish Caviar Duet and Crisp Salmon Skin on the side) and the Grilled Vegetable Panini.
If you wanna splurge or impress your date, ask for the caviar menu! =P
LUSSO by Margarita Forés
Telephone: +632 756 LUXE (5893)